November 22, 2004. Consolidated sales for the nine month period ending September 30 posted a significant increase of 32.2% reaching euros 230.8 million, compared to euros 174.6 million for the respective period of 2003.
This performance was mainly attributed to the sales increase of the parent company by approximately euros 20 million and the associated EFSIMON COLLECTIONS by approximately euros 34 million compared to the first nine months of 2003. Consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization reached euros 56.0 million from euros 42.2 million, an increase of 32.9%.
The performance of consolidated earnings before tax after the deduction of minority rights (EBTam) was equally satisfactory, posting an increase of 17.6%, reaching euros 47.7 million from euros 40.6 million for the respective period of 2003. It should be noted that if, for comparability purposes, we subtract from last year's results the one-off profit from sale of own shares amounting to euros 2.6 million, EBTam would post an increase of 25.6%. Parent company financial results also grew at a solid pace in the first nine months of 2004. Specifically, sales increased by 13.2% reaching euros 169.4 million, EBITDA increased by 16.8% reaching euros 44.8 million while earnings before tax increased by 11.4% reaching euros 43.9 million. Similarly to the consolidated results, should we subtract one-off profit from the sale of own shares, earnings before tax would post an increase of 19.2%. During Q3 2004, the cost containment efforts on an operational level continued resulting to a further decrease of operating and administration expenses to 19.5% of sales from 20.6% in the nine month period of 2003. Regarding the upgrade of the stores network as well as new activities in Q3 2004 it is worth mentioning the following:
- The opening of two new fashion stock outlets at the border stations of Promahonas (Bulgarian borders) and Evzoni (FYROM borders) totaling 800 sq.m. and a new store at the airport of Karpathos island.
- Three new stores commenced operations at the Extra Schengen area of the Athens International Airport adding 270 sq.m. of commercial space: a designers' fashion wear and accessories store, a humidor with a wide variety of cigars and a toy store.
- The opening at the Intra Schengen area of the AIA, of a MastihaShop (a new concept store featuring products based on the Greek natural product mastic gum).
- The refurbishment of the border shops at Niki (Florina) and Doirani (Kilkis) and of one of the two stores at Patra.
Finally, it should be noted that the subsidiary HELLENIC DISTRIBUTIONS continued its exceptional performance posting a sales increase of 54.8% at euros 11.2 million and an earnings before tax increase of 37.9% at euros 1.4 million.
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